For many their intentions outweigh their disciplines. What I want and what I do are often miles apart. I intend to exercise. I intend to eat right. I intend to develop good habits. I intend to read more. I intend …well, the list continues. Yes, I do have some moral disciplines of life. We try don’t we? But don’t we all have excuses. Life just gets in the way of my good intentions.
My realization was not my “want to,” because I really wanted to – it was those little excuses that caused me to turn away from the best; my lack of saying “yes” and my lazy answers “not this time” or “maybe tomorrow.” Once the excuses are dismissed the discipline was rather easy to accomplish. I could blame the heat or the cold, my age, the timing, the busy-ness of the day, or the classical procrastinate’s remark, “I will start next week.”
Here are a few tips for getting the intentions turned to disciplines:
Write down your goals: Do you intend to lose weight? Do you want to be more healthy? Do you wish to read more books? Learn a trade? Develop a devotional life? All of these begin with one common element – they contain a goal to accomplish. Write it down and keep it where you can see it – a visual reminder of your goal is the best motivation to do it each day.
Record you progress: Having a chart to pencil in your progress will give a senses of accomplishment and a daily or weekly reward for keeping to the task at hand. Short rewards are often the best motivator to keep yourself going.
Find a partner: They may be three states away but knowing you are accountable for your progress to another and knowing someone else is working on the same goals can provide incredible vitality to your plan. You may want to join an area club, cell group or neighborhood Bible study as an additional motivator to keep on track.
Pray about it: Knowing you have help from God above is a powerful and inspirational source of daily victory.
Keep a good attitude: Miss a day? Mess up? Fail? Even the best runner’s stumble. Keep a good attitude, “I will just do better tomorrow.”
Comment below: What intentions do you have that you want to turn into disciplines?
Copyrighted by Jim Laudell. No material can be copied, reproduced or published without permission from the author.